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The Quest

By Arindam Chatterji

Its funny really isn't it? 
How easily fascination is lost! 
Remember how attractive your laptop seemed back in that electronics store? 
Or how beautiful your year-old football studs looked back in the nike showroom? 
Remember how you begged and pleaded your parents and explained exactly how amazing these very objects were? 

I guess I can say with some element of certainty that they aren't as valuable anymore. The week following the first time you started using your laptop is so different today! You don't really bother anymore if the charging cord is incredibly tangled, or that there are multiple finger prints on your screen whereas in that very week, you would have made sure that the screen is absolutely spotless and that the charging cord never even bent. The last time you probably washed and cleaned your football studs was before a major tournament or just when they were so dirty that they weren't wearable at all. 

What changes? The object is exactly the same, however the level of satisfaction that you used to receive from it reduces by every passing day. We get 'used to' stuff so easily. Its fascinating how our fascination with anything can never be the same. We 'out-grow'. Bursting crackers on Diwali isn't worth waiting for anymore. That feeling after scoring a goal isn't quite the same as the feeling you felt when you scored your very first. That old watch you owned is out of battery, but how does it matter when you just bought another one last week and it works just fine. 

I guess this is one of those qualities that make us human, understanding the fact that change is the only constant. Its hard to have that life where everything is the 'same-old'. We get bored, honestly. And there is always something better that's going to be out there. The new f-50s, the New iPad (can't believe Apple actually called it that, but that's off-topic), anything NEW for that matter really. We need variety. Change. And that's how life goes on. Finding something new to do, getting fascinated once again, till you find that one thing that you just can't get over. 

Photo credit - Prasanth Akki

And going beyond the world of materialism that I just so vividly described, that one thing can be a person, a hobby, a subject, or anything really. And that's another aspect that differentiates us from machines. Somewhere, sometime in life we find that one person whom we just cannot seem to 'out-grow' or 'get-over'. True, the person remains the same, but there is just something to her/him that makes us go back every single day. We may have nothing to talk about, but something just sparks up from somewhere, and the next thing you know we're sitting there together, smiling, laughing, creating memories. 

And when you can't find that person, you are able to resort to something else. A sport, say football, which you can't just get enough of. Every moment on the field you strive to get better. A subject, say Physics, which suddenly gets so interesting that you can just not stop reading about it. Einstein becomes 'God', equations become sacred. And every time you deliver that perfect cross, or solve that impossible sum, you're happy. You realize that there's nobody you have to prove yourself to. Doing what you love doing, studying what you want to study, spending time with that one person who's just somehow above everybody else. 

And even if you somehow manage to lose it, it is then that you realize how much you actually valued it. The point then again is to move on, find something new, something that can replace what you've lost. And after various attempts to do so, when you simply can't, you know that that's what you're meant to do. So congratulations, you have found your 'something'. Not being able to let go proves that it is what you truly want. At that point, with that object, fascination is never lost. And you can be sure that you will find it someday. And when you do, your quest is complete.

 

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